The Hobbit is an upcoming two-part epic fantasy film directed by Peter Jackson. It is a film adaptation of the 1937 novel of the same name by J. R. R. Tolkien and a prequel to The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Jackson, director of The Lord of the Rings, returns as director of the film and also serves as producer and co-writer. The film will star Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield and Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug. Several actors from Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film trilogy will reprise their roles, including Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, Ian Holm, Elijah Wood and Orlando Bloom. Also returning for the production are a big part of the production crew; among others, illustrators John Howe and Alan Lee, art director Dan Hennah and cinematographer Andrew Lesnie. As with the trilogy, props will generally be crafted by Weta Workshop and visual effects managed by Weta Digital. Additionally, composer Howard Shore, who wrote the score for The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, has confirmed his role in both parts of the film project. The two parts, titled The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again, are being filmed back to back and are in production in New Zealand; principal photography began on 21 March 2011. They are scheduled to be released on 14 December 2012 and 13 December 2013, respectively.